The 4 Vaccines Older Adults Need.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people 65 years and older are at greater risk of serious complications from the flu compared with young, healthy adults because human immune defenses invariably become weaker with age. While flu seasons can vary in severity in different countries, during most seasons, older adults bear the greatest burden of the disease, with between 71 percent and 85 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths occurring in people 65 years and older. In addition, between 54 percent and 70 percent of people in this age group were hospitalised for seasonal flu-related illnesses. The CDC also recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get a seasonal flu vaccine each year by the end of October, if possible. The 2016 – 2017 vaccine has been updated from the last season’s vaccine to better match circulating viruses. A high dose vaccine with four times the amount of antigen compared to a regular flu shot has been specially designed for people 65 and older. Antigens prompt the creation of antibodies, and increasing this dosage is intended to give older people a better immune response, and therefore, better protection against the flu virus. The benefits of vaccinating against the flu may also help protect older individuals from contracting pneumonia and experiencing other dangerous complications. The immunity from vaccination begins to take effect after about two weeks. Credit: CDC.
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